We are pleased to announce the names of the 4 finalists who will be competing in the upcoming live final at Mansion House, in London, on 10th September.
The 2019 Finalists are:
Paul joined The Royal Bank of Scotland in 2005 - pre financial crisis, after completing SQA Highers. He has accumulated experience in several divisions across the bank, recently taking on a secondment as Capability Partner to build Agile Capability across Personal Banking. From 2014 until 2018, Paul was Senior Implementation Manager for Commercial & Business Banking, leading a team to deliver a portfolio of projects which contributed to the successful launch of the European Commission mandated 'Business Banking Switch Scheme'. Prior to this he worked on several innovative change projects including the design of the proposed Williams & Glyn challenger bank, creation of a sector strategy and the development of a new Business Branch proposition. He has also held multiple frontline and leadership roles.
Paul is a keen learner and having recently completed various Professional Qualifications, he is now working towards Chartered Banker status with the Chartered Banker Institute.
Nika is navigating new horizons for the banking industry in a key leadership role at RBS Group, leading the Climate Change agenda, risk framework and strategy, in response to the Bank of England’s new regulations on Climate Change. Nika has 15 years global leadership experience within Europe, USA, Middle East and Africa. Nika has a track record of successful delivery of leading technology and Digital innovation projects, driving products from inception into scaled solutions. A leader in Agile culture and methodology she is an expert at breaking down silos and radically increasing cross collaboration. Nika’s earlier career was spent in private equity, leveraged finance and commodity deal origination and transaction across all sectors.
As a successful independent venture capital investor and entrepreneur, Nika adds value as a mentor in the high growth/scale up sector. Nika is also Chair of the NatWest Women’s Network Senior Leadership Committee and launched diversity initiatives across the bank. This included collaborating with the NatWest Entrepreneurial Accelerator Hubs to create tailored Digital platforms to enable women who took career breaks to successfully start and scale their own business. Nika is an expert within the social enterprise and plant-based sector space with decades of experience in the ‘ethical/green/eco/plant-based’ niche. Nika spends her spare time leading global humanitarian projects and training in boxing whilst working to rehabilitate the sick and disabled volunteering as a Pilates instructor.
Sarah Walker is a Branch Director for Santander. Sarah’s banking career started 9 years ago when she was just 18. Sarah started with Santander as a customer service advisor and has worked in many different roles across many different locations. Sarah is very passionate about helping people and this was her reason for joining the banking sector. Sarah was inspired to try and make a difference to people’s lives and help whichever way she could. Sarah is the Women in Business lead for her region and this is something that Sarah is extremely passionate about, Sarah feels that Women should empower other women and this is something she strives to achieve in her workplace and amongst her colleagues.
Sarah currently lives in Bristol with her Fiancé Luke and is very much looking forward to getting married in July. Sarah is a keen football supporter and enjoys travelling around the world on holiday whenever she can.